# 1: Intimacy: The only difference between a love relationship and friendship is intimacy. Ask yourself: With my current partner am I living in a friendship or a love relationship?
# 2: Personal evolution: Relationship is the fastest way to personally evolve. Your partner has VIP access to your hot buttons. Once you are past the honeymoon period you will be pushing each other’s buttons, whether you like it or not, for the purpose of growth and expansion of who you are.
# 3: Knowing one another: The basis of a sound relationship is to know another. It is not about what you know from the past, it is about what you discover freshly every day. Are you referencing your partner through past experience or through what is showing up in the present?
# 4: Affection: Do not assume your spouse knows you love and admire him or her. You need to communicate it frequently. Especially (but not only) in a volatile marriage affection is the key to marital happiness.
#5: Conflict: A lasting relationship results from a couple’s ability to resolve the conflicts that are inevitable in a relationship.
#6: Communication: Do not assume anything – even after years of being together there is no benefit in assuming. Ask, talk, communicate, and get to know each other freshly each day. Let yourself be surprised!
#7: Growth: Relationships are here to help us grow beyond the comfort zones we currently inhabit. Especially intimate relationships will inevitably become your biggest teacher if you are willing to be a continuous student.
#8: ‘Self’ versus ‘We’: An actualized relationship can be measured at the amount of allowing of ‘self’ in relation to ‘we’. Are you allowing yourself to have your opinion, your position etc or are you keeping things to yourself, letting them go etc for fear of rocking the boat of the relationship?
#9: Criticism: Saying what bothers you about your partner might wear the relationship down when done constantly. It can erode intimacy and connection. Try sharing what you appreciate and admire for a change…
#10: Give-and-take: Relationships require give-and-take, but a problem arises when one partner does more than his/her fair share of giving in and going along in a relationship. Find your voice and ‘voice’ your needs.